KCAD Professor Phil Renato Debuts Solo Exhibition “PANDEMANIA”

Posted January 26, 2024 in Exhibition, Faculty, Product Design

From a pandemic-driven flurry of object making to experiments with emerging tech, a new solo exhibition at the Grand Rapids Community College Paul Collins Art Gallery brings audiences inside the hyper-inquisitive and idiosyncratic creative process of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University Product Design Professor Phil Renato.   

An art gallery with various posters and objects hanging on the wall.Gallery view of Renato's "PANDEMANIA" exhibition at the GRCC Paul Collins Art Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist.

“PANDEMANIA: Found Work from Lost Time” is on view now through Friday, Feb. 9, with a closing reception scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m.  

“I’m showing 52 of the 366 objects I made during the pandemic, as well as 12 poster-sized images of more recent experiments with 3D simulation, animation and AI,” Renato said.   

Most ad hoc wearables were collaged from scraps the artist has collected for decades from unused consumer objects and deprecated tools.  

The large-format digital images, created in 2023 using varying processes and software, speak to Renato’s explorations in understanding what aspects of the creative process he controls.   

“These are all things I designed and made, though depending on how you look at it, this is all stuff that I have had only a kind of extra curatorial hand in,” Renato explained.   

Several objects and posters hanging on the wall.Renato's "PANDEMANIA" exhibition at the GRCC Paul Collins Art Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist.

Renato has taught at KCAD for more than two decades. He founded the former Allesee Metals/Jewelry Design program, which has since evolved to be part of KCAD’s interdisciplinary Product Design program.   

Since earning his MFA at the University of Washington, Renato has built a reputation as a leader within his field, exhibiting work in over 50 national and international exhibitions. His specialization areas include digital modeling, metalsmithing, product design and other intersections of material, process and form.   

More about Renato and his work can be found at philrenato.com and on Instagram @formfollowsphil 

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